Friends of Maine's Mountains Update on Canadian Hydro

Update on the CMP / Hydro Quebec Power Line

The Public Utilities Commission continues its proceeding for the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project.  A decision is expected sometime around year-end.  You still have time to comment in Maine and in Massachusetts.

In Maine, the Public Utilities Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing later this year, TBA.  You may submit your comment now by clicking here.

FMM is an intervenor in the case and it remains opposed to Massachusetts energy projects that should be sited in Massachusetts instead of Maine. FMM is on record stating that it could support the New England Clean Energy Connect under three conditions:

1.  That the corridor will host only the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Transmission line with no opportunity to "on-ramp" future Maine wind projects along the route.

2.  That no expansion of the corridor for Alternating Current (AC) transmission be allowed (which could accommodate future Maine wind projects).

3.  That Massachusetts agrees to allow critical pipeline infrastructure that protects Maine/New England ratepayers from exorbitant peak pricing. 

FMM has publicly criticized certain environmental groups like the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) because those groups have simply said NO to the NECEC (and previously to the Northern Pass in New Hampshire) while saying YES to every wind project to-date in the ten years since the heinous Expedited Wind Law was unanimously enacted under the cover of darkness in the Maine Legislature.  They have repeatedly and dutifully said YES to Big Wind despite the miniscule potential for reducing emissions or any other material benefit. Amazingly, neither group uttered a peep when the legislature raised the speed limit to 75 MPH, even though in Maine TRANSPORTATION is responsible for SIX TIMES more CO2 than ELECTRICITY.  

Where are their priorities?

Both so-called "environmental" stewards have done much good over the decades, but both are on record in this case opposing the NECEC in part because they would prefer to see Maine's mountains destroyed with thousands of wind turbines. Their lack of critical thinking is confounding.

Sure, it feels good to add wind and solar to our mix.  But the base load and peak load plants that have been and will be closing in New England cannot and will not be replaced (or even displaced) by wind and solar, neither of which provide grid-dispatchability. Moreover, CLF and NRCM decry the devastation caused by one swath of 120' tall power lines, while they're uncompromisingly complicit with thousands (yes thousands) of wind turbines towering, thumping and blinking 500 feet above the ridges of Maine's North Woods.

Yes the power line has an impact, but these opponents apparently don't calculate impact vs benefit. It seems that they just want what feels good. 


FMM's position is if Bay State politicians want to bow to CLF's lobbyists and they decide to mandate feel-good electricity, they should also mandate that it be located in Massachusetts. If there isn't room for it there, then these HVDC lines are the next best option.

Electricity does not and will not be confined by borders. So which electricity do we choose? 

Some mathematical perspective: Either project -- the Northern Pass or the New England Clean Energy Connect -- would provide roughly the equivalent power that the Seabrook (zero emission) nuclear plant provides. But we've evidently ruled out nukes, so what then? 


Feel-good wind all over Maine.  But at what cost?

Let's look at the largest wind projects in New England:  Kibby and Bingham. The sprawling Kibby Wind project sailed through the permitting process with minor opposition despite its massive impact on huge Maine wildlands. FMM was the ONLY opponent to the Bingham Wind Project, which planted 500' tall turbines at high elevation/visibility over a 16 mile stretch AND many more miles of power lines all the way to Parkman.  Both of these “clean energy” wind projects harm water and wildlife over thousands of acres and they violate the scenic experience along pretty much all of Maine’s 280 miles of Appalachian Trail, not merely 200 yards across the Kennebec gorge.


Where were CLF, NRCM and their allies when Bingham and Kibby were built for Massachusetts utilities? They weren't on the sidelines, no.  They were among the strongest cheerleaders!

So what did they get for selling out Maine?  

The numbers:


Despite the massive negative impacts of these two wind projects, they don't move the needle on the grid, especially when the power is needed. At 185 MegaWatts nameplate, performing at a generous 30% capacity factor, it would require 20 Bingham projects to (unpredictably) equal the MegaWattHours provided by either NECEC or Northern Pass. It would take 30 Kibby projects or 100 Mars Hill projects.

What would be left of the greatest outdoor experience east of the Mississippi? 

Read the full FMM post here: 

http://www.friendsofmainesmountains.org/fmm/2018/8/13/update-on-the...

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Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on August 16, 2018 at 7:18pm

Wind turbines installations cause power lines to be built. Gigantic power lines.

Comment by Stephen Littlefield on August 16, 2018 at 7:08pm

And her objection for a single corridor for a power line is what? Every wind farm cuts the tops off mountains, cut access roads to every mountain, cut a swath for lines from every farm to the grid. And it takes hundreds of workers all with transportation, heavy equipment to destroy the tops of the mountains! And her objection is one corridor? Granted it is through wilderness, but, for wildlife they will use that to there advantage as every power line in existence in Maine. As opposed to destroying our pristine mountains(what are left) it is a better choice, not perfect, but, better than more useless wind mills that raise the price of electricity and will never replace the energy it took to produce the parts let alone putting them in place. Time for a reality check.

Comment by Nancy Sosman on August 16, 2018 at 5:08pm

Your support is out of context.

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on August 16, 2018 at 4:58pm

Sosman's  umbrage is out of context.

Her objections when mountaintops were 'raped' for wind farms and hundreds of miles of life giving forest clearcut are missing from the record. Where is her concern for the copper mining, the foreign ownership,  and the various animals and birds living in this 'pristine forest'?

Access roads to wind farms created large corridors of runoff to accommodate 10% grades; this has lead to flooding and eventual pollution and loss of stored water in aquifers.

Comment by Nancy Sosman on August 16, 2018 at 4:44pm

How "Green" is this energy?
#1 Thousands of workers driving to job site in cars, trucks and heavy equipment.(Gas, oil and exhaust)
#2 Thousands of workers producing hundreds of miles of cable, towers and metal hardware thru production plants.(Gas, oil and exhaust) (Steel plant discharge)
#3 Hundreds of miles, hundreds of feet wide corridor cut thru the most pristine forest on the east coast.(Gas, oil and exhaust)
#4 Thousands of square miles effected visually by a scare in the landscape.
#5 Thousands of square miles of watershed devastated by runoff from the disruption of brook, stream and river habitat and hundreds of species of wildlife disrupted by construction activities.
Whomever thinks this is "Green" energy is clearly interested in one thing, "Green money"! NO C.M.P. CORRIDOR!
Thank you for allowing me to vent folks.
Go for a hike, paddle or bike ride in the effected area and see for yourself what will be lost, please! 

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

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 -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

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